13th December 2016
When you need to pay it:
As an employer, you’ll have to pay Apprenticeship Levy each month from 6 April 2017 if you:
- Have an annual pay bill of more than £3 million
- Are connected to other companies or charities for Employment Allowance which in total have an annual pay bill of more than £3 million
- Your annual pay bill is all payments to employees that are subject to employer Class 1 secondary National Insurance contributions (NICs) such as wages, bonuses and commissions. You must include payments to:
- Apprentices under the age of 25
- Employees under the age of 21
- All employees earning below the Lower Earnings Limit and the Secondary Threshold
How much you need to pay
Employers who aren’t connected to another company or charity will have an Apprenticeship Levy allowance of £15,000 each year. This means the Apprenticeship Levy you have to pay is reduced by £15,000 across the year. You can’t carry over any unused allowance into the next tax year.
If you start or stop being an employer part way through the tax year you can use your full annual Apprenticeship Levy allowance against the amount of the levy that you owe.
How to allocate your allowance
Your Apprenticeship Levy allowance of £15,000 can be allocated between:
- All your PAYE schemes
- Your connected companies or charities
- You can decide how to split the allowance between your PAYE schemes or with your connected companies or charities. You’ll need to report how you’ve allocated your allowance the first time you have to pay Apprenticeship Levy. You can’t change your share of the allowance during the tax year.
You must continue to apply the levy allowance that was allocated at the beginning of the tax year if, part way through the year:
- You become a connected employer (such as by merging with or acquiring another company)
- The structure of your group of connected companies or connected charities changes
- You can decide how you allocate your levy allowance across your connected companies or charities at the start of the next tax year.
Public bodies each get a full Apprenticeship Levy allowance as they aren’t considered to be connected companies.
NHS trusts and other health service bodies (such as Scottish Health Boards, Welsh Local Health Boards or Irish Health and Social Care Trusts) are considered to be companies and therefore have to follow the connected companies rules.
Public bodies which are charities must follow the rules for connected charities.
Calculate what you owe
Apprenticeship Levy is charged at 0.5% of your annual pay bill.
You can use HMRC’s Basic PAYE Tools to help you work out how much you need to pay.
For the first month of the tax year:
- Divide your Apprenticeship Levy allowance by 12.
- Subtract this figure from 0.5% of your monthly pay bill.
- For each of the following months:
- Calculate your total pay bill for the year to date.
- Add up your monthly levy allowances for the year to date.
- Subtract your levy allowance for the year to date from 0.5% of your total pay bill for the year to date.
- Subtract the amount of the levy you’ve paid in the year to date.
- If you begin paying the levy part way through the tax year, you’ll need to calculate how much of your annual allowance has been accumulated in the current year. Divide your full annual allowance by 12 and multiply by the number of months since the start of the tax year. This figure is your allowance for the first month you report the levy.
Any unused allowance can be carried forward into the next month within the same tax year.
Industry training levy contributions
You’ll still need to pay Apprenticeship Levy even if you already contribute to an industry-wide training levy arrangement, for example the Construction Industry Training Board Levy.
Report how much you owe
From 6 April 2017, you’ll need to tell HMRC how much Apprenticeship Levy you owe each month:
- From the start of the tax year if:your annual pay bill (including any connected companies or charities) in the previous tax year was more than £3 million
- You think your annual pay bill (including any connected companies or charities) for the tax year will be more than £3 million
- if your annual pay bill (including any connected companies or charities) unexpectedly increases to more than £3 million - start reporting when this happens
- If you’ve started paying Apprenticeship Levy, you’ll need to continue reporting it until the end of the tax year even if your annual pay bill turns out to be less than £3 million.
Connected companies or charities will each need to tell HMRC how much Apprenticeship Levy they owe.
Report your Apprenticeship Levy each month using your Employer Payment Summary (EPS) and include the following:
- The amount of the annual Apprenticeship Levy allowance you’ve allocated to that PAYE scheme
- The amount of Apprenticeship Levy you owe to date in the current tax year
- You don’t need to report Apprenticeship Levy on your EPS if you haven’t had to pay it in the current tax year.